Are You Sure You Want To Remove Existing Photos And Sync Photos From This Computer? What Does This Mean?

Photos synced to “devicename iPad” from other photo libraries or folders will be removed and photos will be synced from this computer. Photos taken with “devincename iPad” will not be affected.

Have you seen this long message and wondering what it’s all about? We explain below.

First things first, your photos from your PC you are syncing will NOT be deleted. What this message means is it will ONLY delete the existing synced photos you previously synced before with your device ( iPhone or iPad ) and replace them with the photos from this folder. It does NOT say anything about deleting photos from your computer.

While this message wording seems confusing, and some users reported backing up their photos before syncing. They all said after that it is indeed what the app means.

Why does this happen anyway

Simply put, iCloud Photo Library and iTunes media syncing can exist at the same time. it’s either or in this scenario.

Hardcore apple users will remember that once you had your iTunes handle all importing of photos from your apple devices like iPad and iPhone. However, when we all switched to iCloud Library we have to let the iTunes backup go.

NOTE – apple says that this will not delete any media from your Photos library on OS X. Why? Because of incompatible issues with iTunes.

What it does instead is just deleting the iTunes synced media from the previous iOS then downloading the optimized or full resolution photos and videos your have on your device.

Unless you have very small library, most likely it will download the optimized images as you won’t really have space for full size on most devices.

Here’s the kicker – Because your media was already synced to the iOS device of your choice, it’s 100% on your OS X in your photo library. What this effectively means is that you won’t lose any media or data when you tap ” Remove Photos and Videos “.

If you still have doubts, you can always have a backup of your media before doing this.

Transfer data and media between devices without losing existing photos with tools

If you don’t like using this method ( I don’t know why not ) you can always use a third party data transfer tool to handle your syncing and transferring of data, without losing the photos you have.

Some tools like the FoneTool helps you move photos between devices without losing the existing media library.

are you sure you want to remove existing photos and sync

Some benefits of using these tools:

  • Fast transfer speeds – You can literaly transfer 100 photos in like 2 seconds. This is much faster than the iTunes transfer rate.
  • No data loss – You can choose specific photos to move, so you won’t lose anything.
  • Compatible – You can use it on Windows 11/10/8.1 and 7. and Obviously all iOS versions.
  • Lots of functions – You can also do data backup with the tool which is pretty cool.


Will syncing my iPad delete old photos and videos?

Syncing your iPad with iCloud or iTunes will update the photo library and not necessarily delete anything. 

So if you deleted a photo or video in iCloud, it would reflect the same on the iPad and across all other connected devices. To prevent that from happening, turn off iCloud syncing.

Does deleting photos on iPhone remove them from iCloud too?

Yes, deleting photos on iPhone will remove them from iCloud, too.

How to recover deleted photos on an iPad?

You can recover deleted photos on your iPad in the ‘Recently Deleted’ section. Deleted photos stay in this folder for up to 30 days before being permanently removed. So go into the Photos > Albums > Recently Deleted section to recover the image files.

You can also find the Recently Deleted option in iCloud.

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About the Author: Adam Wishmore

Adam Wishmore is an apple geek, there is no other way of putting it. Since the first generation iPhone hit the market to the latest Macbook pro, Adam knows everything there is and how to fix everything on apple devices. Find me on Facebook